Climate: In the Cordillera Huayhuash heavy rains are to be expected from December to March and a markedly dry season from May to October, where sunny days post temperatures of 25°C and freezing nights.
Access: The mountains are generally reached from the town of Chiquián (360 km northeast Lima), an ideal place to stock up on provisions.
Services: Climbers heading to the Cordillera Huayhuash can hire guides and porters in the nearby town of Llamac, Pocpa and Pacllon. Expeditions can also be organized from the nearby city of Huaraz.
"The most splendid of Peru's mountain ranges" is a common remark made by climbers about the Cordillera Huayhuash. The first summit in the range is Mt. Siulá Grande, first climbed by an Austrian expedition in 1936. Its highest mountain, Yerupajá, was first climbed in 1950 by a team from Harvard University.
The Cordillera Huayhuash includes a dozen peaks which are particularly difficult to climb due to frequent snow and ice avalanches. Some of the best-known glaciers include Yerupajá (6,634 meters), Yerupajá Chico (6,121 meters), Jirishanca (6,094 meters), Siulá Grande (6,344 meters), Rondoy (5,879 meters), Ninashanca (5,807 meters), and Rasac (6,017 meters).
The mountains are usually approached from the town of Chiquián (360 km northeast of Lima), which is also an ideal place for getting supplies. Porters and guides can be hired in the nearby towns of Llamac, Pocpa and Pacllón. Expeditions are also organized in nearby Huaraz.
If willing to practice mountaineering in Peru you should follow these recommendations:
- Climbers should get information on the state of trails and the degree of difficulty of the climbing route. It is best to check with the local inhabitants.
- Bear in mind that local inhabitants have different notions of time and distance. The classic response "aquicito nomás" (just around the corner) can mean long hours of trekking up steep slopes.
- Do not pull up or cut live plants or light fires within highland forests.
- Do not move trail signposts.
- Do not hunt or fish during the dry season (trout fishing ban).
- Always inform local authorities or mountain climbing associations in the area of your entry into mountainous areas.
- Never go on climbs or treks unaccompanied.
- Always bring back litter. Leaving it on the mountainside can harm the fragile environment.
- Should bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
- High altitude sickness known locally as soroche can set in at over 2,500 masl. Take precautions by resting the first day, drink plenty of liquids and avoid heavy food and alcohol.
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